Trump warns evangelicals of 'violence' if GOP loses in the midterms

US President Donald Trump, ...

Posted: Aug 29, 2018 11:35 AM
Updated: Aug 29, 2018 11:36 AM

US President Donald Trump, facing scrutiny for hush money payments to a porn star and a former Playboy model, pleaded with evangelical leaders for political help during closed-door remarks on Monday, warning of dire consequences to their congregations should Republicans lose in November's midterm elections.

"This November 6 election is very much a referendum on not only me, it's a referendum on your religion, it's a referendum on free speech and the First Amendment. It's a referendum on so much," Trump told the assemblage of pastors and other Christian leaders gathered in the State Dining Room, according to a recording from people in the room.

Belief, religion and spirituality

Christianity

Donald Trump

Elections (by type)

Elections and campaigns

Evangelical Christians

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Midterm elections

Political Figures - US

Political organizations

Politics

Referendums

Religious groups

Society

US federal government

US political parties

US Republican Party

White House

2017 Charlottesville white nationalist rally

Charlottesville

Continents and regions

Discrimination

North America

Protests and demonstrations

Racism and racial discrimination

Right-wing extremism

Societal issues

Southeastern United States

The Americas

United States

Virginia

White supremacy and neo-Nazism

"It's not a question of like or dislike, it's a question that they will overturn everything that we've done and they will do it quickly and violently. And violently. There is violence. When you look at Antifa -- these are violent people," Trump said, describing what would happen should his voters fail to cast ballots. "You have tremendous power. You were saying, in this room, you have people who preach to almost 200 million people. Depending on which Sunday we're talking about."

Antifa -- a loose collection of anti-fascist groups who regularly stage counter-protests against white supremacists and neo-Nazis -- have emerged as an effective bogeyman for segments of the US right.

In a video released last year by the National Rifle Association (NRA), the pro-gun group used footage from street protests and occasional Antifa violence to paint all on the US left as seeking to "bully and terrorize the law-abiding."

Trump previously appeared to link Antifa to violence at a Charlottesville demonstration last year in which a white supremacist killed a left-wing counter protester and injured 19 others. The President later said there was "blame on both sides."

'Get people to support us'

Evangelicals have provided a solid block of support for Trump, even amid the scandals involving alleged sexual affairs.

After news of those purported encounters emerged, his standing among white evangelicals did not slip. But inviting the leaders to the White House only days after the President was newly implicated by his longtime personal lawyer's guilty plea underscored the degree to which Trump is trying to keep his supporters on his side.

"You have to hopefully get out and get people to support us," Trump said. "If you don't, that will be the beginning of ending everything that you've gotten."

Trump will need to maintain that support if he hopes to help Republicans stay in power on Capitol Hill or win re-election himself in 2020. On Monday, he touted the steps he's taken to promote religious liberty, such as loosening restrictions on political speech from the pulpit, which previously could jeopardize religious institutions' tax-exempt status.

The remarks from an attendee's recording offered a more dire view of the upcoming vote than Trump has projected in public. He often trumpets an upcoming "red wave" of Republican victories, downplaying suggestions that Democrats are poised to exploit his divisiveness and retake the House or Senate.

Trump didn't mention a "red wave" on Monday, instead acknowledging that midterms often present new presidents with a turnout challenge.

"The polls might be good, but a lot of them say they are going to vote in 2020, but they're not going to vote if I'm not on a ballot," he said. "I think we're doing well, I think we're popular, but there's a real question as to whether people are going to vote if I'm not on the ballot. And I'm not on the ballot."

That's a problem Trump said the evangelical leaders could help solve by galvanizing their congregations and followers to vote.

"I just ask you to go out and make sure all of your people vote. Because if they don't -- it's November 6 -- if they don't vote, we're going to have a miserable two years and we're going to have, frankly, a very hard period of time," he said.

"You're one election away from losing everything that you've gotten," he added. "Little thing: Merry Christmas, right? You couldn't say 'Merry Christmas.' "

West Lafayette
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 75°
Kokomo
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 73°
Rensselaer
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 75°
Fowler
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 75°
Williamsport
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 72°
Crawfordsville
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 67°
Frankfort
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 73°
Delphi
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 75°
Monticello
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 75°
Logansport
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 72°
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 50300

Reported Deaths: 2748
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11920692
Lake5432248
Elkhart347058
Allen2902133
St. Joseph205169
Hamilton1665101
Cass16449
Hendricks1446100
Johnson1325118
Porter80238
Tippecanoe7599
Clark68144
Vanderburgh6816
Madison67264
LaPorte60527
Howard59458
Bartholomew59345
Kosciusko5704
Marshall5308
Noble50128
LaGrange4829
Jackson4783
Boone47444
Delaware46952
Hancock46036
Shelby43525
Floyd40444
Morgan33631
Monroe32928
Grant30926
Dubois2976
Henry29717
Montgomery29720
Clinton2893
White26810
Decatur25532
Dearborn25423
Lawrence25225
Vigo2478
Warrick24329
Harrison21722
Greene19332
Miami1922
Jennings17912
Putnam1728
DeKalb1674
Scott1639
Wayne1536
Daviess15017
Perry1459
Orange13723
Steuben1362
Jasper1332
Franklin1278
Ripley1277
Wabash1152
Carroll1132
Gibson1132
Fayette1057
Whitley1045
Newton10010
Starke983
Huntington932
Randolph794
Wells791
Jefferson782
Fulton731
Jay680
Washington681
Knox670
Clay665
Pulaski661
Rush613
Posey550
Owen521
Benton510
Spencer501
Adams491
Sullivan471
Brown431
Blackford402
Fountain352
Crawford330
Tipton321
Switzerland300
Martin240
Parke230
Ohio220
Vermillion200
Warren151
Union130
Pike110
Unassigned0193

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events